The National Academy of Science and Technology, Philippines (NAST PHL) hails the filing of the Senate resolution calling for an inquiry on the country’s blue economy.

The Senate Resolution 1017, filed by Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, seeks to conduct an inquiry and investigation on the current policies and programs of the government regarding the Philippine blue economy. The “Blue Economy” refers to the country’s ocean-based economy, which includes aquaculture and capture fisheries, marine tourism, marine biodiversity, and shipbuilding among others.

The Resolution highlights the country’s maritime history and culture, dating back to the Malay migration through “balangays” during the ancient times and the Galleon Trade during the Spanish Era. It also mentioned the potential of the country’s maritime territories, which includes the West Philippine Sea and the Philippine Rise, which is believed to be rich in mineral and fisheries resources.

It can be recalled that the NAST PHL has repeatedly called for the development of the Philippine blue economy, highlighting its potential contribution to the overall economic progress of the country. In July 2016, during its 38th Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM), NAST Phl discussed the potentials of a Philippine blue economy. One of its recommendations during the 39th ASM in 2017 was the creation of a separate Department of Fisheries and Oceans that will handle the country’s maritime/ coastal and marine resources.

The NAST PHL, led by its President Academician Rhodora V. Azanza, Agricultural Sciences Division Chair Academician Eufemio T. Rasco, Jr., and Fisheries focal person Academician Mudjekeewis D. Santos, also recently held multiple discussions with the Office of Senator Angara regarding the blue economy, providing them with relevant advice and results of recent studies . NAST PHL also conducted a Science Policy and Information Forum on Galunggong and Tilapia in November 2018 and on the Philippine Blue Economy in January 2019. The second part of the blue economy forum will be held on 15 February 2019.

The NAST PHL is an attached agency to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) mandated by law (E. O. 818, Series of 1982) to advise the President and the Cabinet on matters related to science and technology.